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Thread: Hot water recirc loop issues

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Kendal's Avatar
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    Default Hot water recirc loop issues

    Hi all,
    I have a recirculation loop in my new home. It is approx 250' start to finish--one long loop with t's off for the fixtures. Instant hot water when you turn it on. However, I'm having an issue when I turn on a faucet/shower nearby. The original faucet that was turned on is hot, and the next one is luke warm or even chilly. When I shut them both off and then turn the second one on, it's hot...here is a picture. Please let me know what you think
    Name:  water heater loop diagram.jpg
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    Thank you,
    Kendal

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The check valve has to be on the recirulation line. When you open ANY faucet, the cold water is flowing backwards through the circulation line. Whether the water turns warm or cold depends on how fast it is flowing and how long it is run. I would also put the pump in the circulation line so any hot water used does not have to work its way through the pump, which can just exacerbate the problem.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member Kendal's Avatar
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    Hello,
    Thank you for the reply. So if I move the check valve as in picture below, i won't need to leave the one in the current location to prevent hot water from backing into the cold? Also, would the recirc pump go here in picture below? any other thoughts would be appreciated.Name:  water heater loop diagram updated.jpg
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    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    You will be far better off with the recirc loop connecting to the bottom of the heater with the circulator pulling the water back to the bottom of the heater with the check valve below the circulator.

    John

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    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    For what you paid for sharkbites you could have hired a plumber to do this right the first time.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Yes to both questions, and you might also install a ball valve between the check valve and connection to the cold water line.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member Kendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome2877 View Post
    For what you paid for sharkbites you could have hired a plumber to do this right the first time.
    i did fyi...

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    DIY Junior Member Kendal's Avatar
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    HJ, thank you for the responses. I've seen you mention the ball valve at that location to others. I'm not clear on the why however--just trying to learn something. And again, not 2 check valves, just the oneThe .
    .
    Last edited by hj; 05-04-2013 at 08:07 AM.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valves

    The one is all you NEED. The ball valve is to service the pump and adjust the flow through the circulation system so it just maintains temperature, but limits the velocity of flow so you do not "erode" the copper at the elbows.

    quote; i did fyi.

    Does that mean some "professional plumber" installed that system using Sharkbite fittings? If so, he was NOT a "plumber", but rather a hack or handyman.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kendal View Post
    i did fyi...
    Well its not done right and I would bet it wasn't a licensed plumber!!

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    DIY Junior Member Kendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome2877 View Post
    Well its not done right and I would bet it wasn't a licensed plumber!!
    not true...even licensed plumbers can blow it..sorry

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    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kendal View Post
    not true...even licensed plumbers can blow it..sorry
    If the person who did this is a plumber, he's in the wrong profession! Each sharkbite is worth 10- 15 times as much as a sweat fitting. You say this is a new home, is the whole house done in sharkbites?

    I'm not saying a licenced plumber can't make mistakes but really this is an abomination...sorry

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member Kendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome2877 View Post
    If the person who did this is a plumber, he's in the wrong profession! Each sharkbite is worth 10- 15 times as much as a sweat fitting. You say this is a new home, is the whole house done in sharkbites?

    I'm not saying a licenced plumber can't make mistakes but really this is an abomination...sorry
    Actually the house is pex throughout. I must say that I'm glad they are sharkbites so it'll be easy to handle the fix. the guy was highly recommended and suggested the use of sharkbites since I decided to go with a water heater tank as even I know, water heater tanks fail. seemed reasonable... anyhow, thank you HJ for adding useful information for an amateur like me. Great forum!

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I'm with the rest of the "real" plumbers here. We consider a Shark Bite as a repair or special instance fitting.
    We run our PEX with real "PEX" fittings.

    I'm glad you are so easy to accommodate though.

    I think an educated plumber would have installed the check valves correctly. A check valve "always" goes on the recirc line.

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member Kendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I'm with the rest of the "real" plumbers here. We consider a Shark Bite as a repair or special instance fitting.
    We run our PEX with real "PEX" fittings.

    I'm glad you are so easy to accommodate though.

    I think an educated plumber would have installed the check valves correctly. A check valve "always" goes on the recirc line.
    I must say, i 'm feeling extra special now! Thanks for the response and i appreciate the forum. I will say that the rest of the house has real "Pex" fittings, not shark bites throughout trust me, i'm going to now put on the recirc side. It is frustrating to go through the process and find that a highly recommended-and-licensed plumber is not what he's cracked up to be. However, in an even more surprising twist, the local winnelson backed up the plumber's plumbing---go figure.

    anyway, with all that said, thanks again to HJ and yourself for making constructive comments, and not the typical "shoulda hired a pro" line

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